Back in 2005, when they were owned by the McCourts, the Dodgers needed a new chief marketing officer and decided to hire then-Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s oldest son, Tagg Romney.
Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that Tagg Romney “was woefully unqualified to be a baseball team’s marketing executive” and “his one claim to previous sports marketing was at Reebok, where he was something called vice president for on-field marketing … his primary responsibility was to watch NFL and NBA games, counting how many times Reebok was mentioned or its logo caught on camera.”
Around a year later he left the job to join his father’s first presidential campaign and Dodgers sources told Dilbeck that Romney was a “very nice guy who was just in way over his head” and a “vacuous-eyed, transparent political appointment.”
Romney still has his own “executives” page on the Dodgers’ team website, the top of which looks like this:
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.